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I wanted to make a side dish for penne vodka. We had tons of mini sweet peppers, so I decided to stuff them. I tried to stay with the Italian theme. The peppers are sweet and soft, while the filling remains moist with the subtle flavors of wine, mushrooms, and onions. They’re light and healthy to boot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup minced white onions (about half a large onion)
  • 1 cup minced baby bella mushrooms (buttons are good alternatives)
  • 1.5 cups cooked brown rice (I used leftover rice Pilaf)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • white wine
  • 1/2 lemon
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes
  • oregano
  • mozzarella cheese

1. Drizzle about two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic (smallest cut possible). Mince the onions and mushrooms and sauté. Mushrooms should be cleaned before cutting with a damp towel. Sprinkle with salt and fresh black pepper. Mix in the rice and add the wine. Add the rest of the ingredients. The pepper stuffing should be moldable, so not too wet. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut the tops off the peppers and pick out the insides. Use a melon-baller or your fingers to stuff them, being sure to pack them densely. Try to lean them against each other in a casserole dish to keep upright. Add enough wine to cover the bottom. This provides continual moisture to the peppers. Scatter shredded mozzarella cheese over the tops.

3. Bake peppers with an aluminum-foil covering for 40 minutes. Take the foil off for the remaining 20 minutes so the cheese can brown.

Enjoy. The peppers won’t be the only things stuffed!

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